The Future of Events is Virtual

A New Dawn, A New Age

As the world reeled in the starting months of the COVID-19 pandemic, the non-profit industry was hit especially hard. Many organizations postponed or even canceled their largest events before the virtual event wave made it's way on to the scene, losing out on thousands of dollars towards their mission. The sense of unity that comes from events, and its subsequent call to action that grows in everyone's hearts, was no longer a reasonable option as social distancing regulations were enforced - or so we thought.

What we didn't expect, is that 2020 is the uniting factor that raises that call to action in all our hearts. As we experienced quarantine together, sitting idle and isolated, a universal need for human connection grew. People around the world were using technology in ways mainstream media has never seen before to connect, interact, organize, and more, with many preferring virtual events to in-person events. But, why? How?

The Need

We all saw the effects of that call to action sensation with the political protests across America. The shared trauma and grief of the pandemic coupled with political injustice spurred millions across the country to unite their community and take action. According to the NY Times, American civil rights organizations saw a surge unlike any before in donations despite the majority of American's now insecure financial standing. People want to give; they want to donate their time, their money, their resources to your mission and they need the community that your mission fosters in return, now more than ever.

At the same time, the people that are able and willing to attend live events and connect in this way are a very limited bunch, and though this idea is gaining traction in light of recent events, it is not a new concept. While many are vulnerable to this virus and many more are protecting their loved ones that are vulnerable, there are also a great many that have been unable to attend live events due to a number of factors. From reasons as simple as scheduling issues to reasons that shed light on the ableism in traditional event structure, organizations are missing out on valuable donors and attendees!

As the virtual aspect of these events make it easier for people to connect in any capacity they are able to, we are seeing an increase in event diversity and inclusivity in addition to attendance and participation. That is why virtual and hybrid (an online element in tandem with a live experience) events will move to the forefront of events, especially for those non-profits that support immunocompromised individuals.

Data from Eventbrite shows that online events have surged in popularity - a +2,000% increase compared to 2019 alone, to be exact - and this increase seems to be here to stay even after social distancing regulations fade away. Chief data strategy officer at Eventbrite, Crystal Valentine, said "We're in uncharted territory [again], but it's creating a whole new revenue stream for event creators and helping them reach global audiences. We expect online events will continue to play a big role in events post-pandemic." Simply put, the "new normal," is becoming, well, normal.

How Will We Rise to the Challenge?

At Powered by Professionals, we've done extensive research to perfect the art of a great virtual experience and understand that this isn't just a passing phase, but an opportunity for our clients as not only a new revenue stream, but an easy and effective way to connect to new audiences. Virtual and hybrid events are becoming the standard because the way we interact as a people is changing, with modern tech making connection easier than ever - and though technology can never replace human connection, it can surely bridge the gaps. You can check out our webinar resources and blog posts on how to prepare for and plan your virtual event for maximum efficiency!

If you are interested in setting up a free consultation with us to discuss how we can help you plan a successful virtual event that exceeds your fundraising goals, let us know today!

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